After 30 years and 12 studio albums, German hard rockers Pink Cream 69 are still cranking out high octane, melodic bluesy hard rock. Headstrong is the follow up to 2013’s excellent Ceremonial. Produced by bassist Dennis Ward, Headstrong features the same lineup as Ceremonial, including Ward, vocalist David Readman (Almanac, ex-Voodoo Circle), guitarists Alfred Koffler and Uwe Reitenauer, and drummer Chris Schmidt. As a special bonus, the band has also included a bonus live disc recorded in 2013 featuring songs from the bands entire catalog.
Headstrong is classic Pink Cream 69 with bluesy, metal-tinged, hard rock anthems and power ballads highlighted by the golden pipes of David Readman, who sounds incredible as always throughout the album. The band come charging out of the gate with the rollicking hard rocker We Bow To No One, which has a strong anthemic chorus and a killer main riff. Walls Come Down is a heavy, balls-to-the-wall hard rock song with a touch of metal. Featuring great guitar work from Koffler and Reitenauer, and Readman swings for the fences and hits it out of the park.
Unite and Divide is a grooving hard rock song with chugging guitars and a killer vocal melody line from Readman and a sublime multi-harmony vocal during the chorus. No More Fear is another fantastic rock song with some incredible guitar work from the tandem of Reitenaur and Koffler. Readman’s vocals soar, reaching for the stratosphere with a catchy refrain.
Man of Sorrow begins with a slow acoustic guitar strumming and Readman’s bluesy vocal but soon kicks into a stomping hard rock anthem with a powerful chorus and a ripping guitar solo. Path Of Destiny is, without question, the heaviest song on the album with pounding drums and bass, heavy metal guitar riffs, and a powerful lead vocal and memorable chorus.
The album slows down for the bluesy power ballad, Vagrant Of The Night. The acoustic guitar work is stellar under Ward’s crystalline production. Readman’s emotive and expressive vocals are magnificent throughout, building slowly to a final crescendo. The hard rock comes back with the fist-pumping rock of Bloodsucker. The chorus is a catchy hard rock classic in the making and will have you singing along after a few spins.
Whistleblower is a heavy, mid-tempo song with a deliberate pace and the strong rhythm section of drummer Schmidt and bassist Ward locked in the groove and highlighted by another fantastic chorus from Readman. The album closer, the ultra-bluesy rocker, The Other Man has a 70’s Blind Faith-esque hard rock vibe with some mult-harmony vocals during the chorus. A nice closing to an album that will please all Pink Cream 69 fans as well as fans of AOR melodic rock. If you’re a PC69 fan you will not be disappointed! The band is set to perform on the 2018 edition of the Monsters of Rock cruise in February as well as a tour with Pretty Maids. The future is looking bright for PC69!